“Holy Cornholio”/“Drones”

“Holy Cornholio”/“Drones”

It took nearly four full episodes, but Beavis And Butt-Head 2.0 finally introduced the world to a shitty music video it won’t soon forget: imperceptibly arrhythmic Detroit rapper T-Baby’s “It’s So Cold in the D.” In fact, the clip’s already gotten heavy action on YouTube, thanks to recent B And B promos featuring excerpts from their overdubbed commentary, particularly Butt-Head rhetorically inquiring, “Is this Real Housewives Of Detroit?” 

So much of “Holy Cornholio”—the first of two full, single-skit half hours that aired tonight—is Beavis And Butt-Head at its best. Beavis’ cult-favorite alter ego, Cornholio, is back, and a polygamous cult mistakes him for the reincarnated vessel of its deceased leader. Naturally. The premise alone is enough to carry the episode, and concluding it by having Stewart get selected for the cult’s ritual orgy, jumping and shouting, “Yay! Sex!” is like watching George Costanza’s redemption in Seinfeld'“The Opposite.” Although, it’s still hard not to wince at our eternally horny protagonists’ missed opportunity. And yes, I said hard.

The opening scenes of Beavis screwing a doll into his hand (for the purposes of making an anal penetration joke, no less, one of two in the night) and Butt-Head’s failed attempt at impromptu surgical removal were gruesome. But they also invoked memories of “Nosebleed,” one of the original show’s all-time funniest storyboards, which happened to air alongside “Vaya Con Cornholio.” In “Holy Cornholio,” the majority of Beavis’ amped-up doppelganger’s lines were recycled from the past (rhyming “bungholio” with “polio,” “Lake Titicaca” et al), even if they’re probably brand new and virginally hilarious to younger viewers. (And yes, I said virginal.) But the character still slayed when asking a new baby’s parents in the hospital, “Is he an albino?” before declaring, hands raised above his shoulders and shirt over his head, “He will be albino and a gringo.” Funny stuff.

The recurring Teen Mom bits in “Holy Cornolio” fit well, much better than the Jersey Shore snippets in “Drones.” A la last week’s riotous 16 & Pregnant and True Life undressings, it seems like the reality bits that skew closer to actual adolescent experience give the boys more material than shows already immersed in their own irony.  

One pattern that remains consistent is Mike Judge saving his toothiest material for the back end. (Damnit.) “Drones” is an almost taxing 22 minutes of B And B, if that’s possible, and bears fundamental similarities to Beavis And Butt-Head Do America. Once again, the guys wander off from their designated group and manage to nearly affect the safety and well-being of the American people. Only this time, it’s less a goof on overanxious, Clinton-era watchdogs than a pretty bleak and vicious critique of superfluous war-mongering and dubious recruitment strategy.

To wit, the two literally misread a sign for the “Drone Control” room as “Drain Center” (i.e. the bathroom) and subsequently assume the training module is a live game of Grand Theft Auto. They tire soon enough, after Butt-Head sums up that, “Mine doesn’t have any guns or bombs. This must be, like, the kids’ version.” Where were the actual trainees, you ask? Having birthday cake down the hall. Heavy, heady stuff, and closer to South Park satire, even if not likely to double viewers over.

Not that “Drones” goes without a gut-buster or four. Butt-Head telling an officer that he needs to “pee all I can pee” is yet another notch in Judge and his writers’ “How has no one else thought of that?” stuprofundity belt (yes, I’ve used this platform to create yet more fake verbiage). It’s those kinds of asides that earn Beavis’ admiration when, as they take in Benny Benassi’s absurd “Satisfaction” video, he tells his fellow couch potato, “You’re pretty funny Butt-Head.” When Butt-Head earnestly answers, “Thank you,” it’s as close to a Hallmark moment as these two get, and exactly why it’s a highlight exchange. It’s as if, on occasion, they accidentally almost act civil. 

Even Mr. Van Driessen gets transformed. In his previous incarnation, the peace-loving high school teacher represented dated flower-power idealism and was the imprint for great-but-goofy, kindred TV role players like Freaks and Geeks’ Mr. Rosso. In “Drones,” he’s pretty much the voice of political reason but keeps meeting resistance when the class’s Army guide speaks with chronic transparency about how he wishes education and military training went hand in glove, “but statistically, we find that juvenile delinquents make the best warriors.” At that point, as if on cue, one of Beavis and Butt-Head’s drone planes nearly clips everyone's heads while whizzing by. (Speaking of chronic speech tendencies....)

Unless Judge envisioned “Holy Cornholio” and “Drones” as long-form stories, rather than 11-minute vignettes, it’s hard to say what motivated the decision for double-dipping. One guess is that B And B’s ratings are sky-high, and sandwiching the 10:30 episode of Good Vibes would all but guarantee that fledgling animation a boost of life. Whatever the intention, it’s just one man's opinion that the show works better in its typical format. That way, you get the sour and the sweet in one rush, rather than risk any portion droning on. As noted below though, Beavis and Butt-Head typically packs more childlike bellows during its runtime than any other comedy, and that, too, remains consistent.

Stray Observations

  • It seems to me like we all had a lot of fun devoting one big thread to our favorite standalone lines from the episode(s). So, fire away. (Heh. Fire.)
  • In case you were wondering, mine were: “I know the baby is bumming you out. Don’t worry, I’ll get rid of her”; Butt-Head mumbling something to the effect of, “Essence ba bla essence bla bla bla”; “It’s the digestive system of a lesbian”; and Mr. Anderson telling religious solicitors, “I’ll be honest with ya, I think your Mormon beliefs are a little screwy, but I still have respect for your college football team, and that Marie Osmond is….” Oh, and, “I will never die. I am Teen Mom.”
  • That whole Daria thing was weird, right? Well, I guess we know where she is now.
  • But that still doesn’t explain the absence of Principal McVicker.
  • Some of you touched on this last week, but between the guys being hip to Deadmau5 and loyal Jersey Shore viewers, their with-it-ness is feeling a bit out of nowhere. Although this exchange was genius: “Damnit Beavis, you’ve watched three seasons of this show and learned nothing. What a waste of time.” “Oh yeah, I guess I need to watch ‘em again.”
  • Had any of you not witnessed the great Cornholio before? For those who had, did it feel a bit forced or just good to see a familiar face again?
  • Thanks as always for reading, and I’m lookin’ forward to rappin’ with ya in the comments. Or something less antiquated than rappin’.